Cellular and Physiological Nutrition/Metabolism
Joseph Bass, MD PhD
Charles F. Kettering Professor
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Obesity is one of today’s most blatantly visible public health concerns. The prevalence of obesity had tripled between 1975 and 2016, with 13% of the world’s adult population now being obese (WHO, 2016). This global epidemic results in serious health disorders and chronic diseases, including increase risk for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. New and innovative strategies are necessary to aid in weight management.
Over the last decade the field of chronobiology has expanded from the study of molecular players involved in orchestrating biological rhythms to an understanding that various environmental factors, including nutrient consumption, have the ability to alter these natural rhythms. Loss of cyclicity induced by behavior such as changes in sleep cycles or timing of food consumption, is now known to affect metabolic functions and increase adiposity. Conversely, changing feeding times to synchronize with metabolic activity can also function as dietary approach for weight reduction and management and thereby improve overall health.